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Obituaries

Dr. Anthony S. Courpas, a retired obstetrician-gynecologist who delivered thousands of babies, dies

Dr. Anthony S. Courpas was a volunteer with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center.

Dr. Anthony S. Courpas, a retired obstetrician-gynecologist who during his 35-year career delivered thousands of babies, died March 31 of a heart attack at his vacation home in Naples, Florida. The Towson resident was 84.

“There was a grace in his demeanor that I loved,” said Dr. Emma Zargarian, an obstetrician and gynecologist who recently retired from Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where Dr. Courpas was a colleague.

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“Tony was respected by his colleagues and loved by his patients. He was very friendly and very warm,” said Dr. Zargarian, a Hunt Valley resident. “I’ve known him since 1976, and one of the reasons we connected is that we both came from different countries. He really was my mentor.”

Anthony Stamatios Courpas, son of Stamatios Courpas, an Egyptian cotton estimator, and his wife, Despina Maschas Courpas, was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt.

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“There was a Greek community in Alexandria, and that’s where they lived,” said a daughter, Nora Vlahoyiannis, who lives in Reisterstown.

After graduating from high school, Dr. Courpas enrolled at the University of Alexandria Medical School, where he earned his medical degree.

“It was a six-year course where he earned his undergraduate degree and medical degree,” Ms. Vlahoyiannis said.

In 1952, Gamal Abdel Nasser led the revolution that overthrew the monarchy and King Farouk. “That was the reason he and his family eventually left Egypt and came to the United States in 1960,” his daughter said.

Dr. Courpas completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Union Memorial Hospital and the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

In 1963, Dr. Courpas married a fellow physician, the former Dr. Corinna Zoides, a pediatrician, whom he had grown up with in Alexandria.

After practicing in Bedford, Virginia, for a year, Dr. Courpas returned to Maryland and established a private practice in obstetrics and gynecology with offices in Towson and Bel Air. He was also affiliated with GBMC throughout his entire career and held several positions in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, including medical review.

“He was a very kind and considerate man and brought a sense of integrity and demeanor to the way he treated residents and people. You felt respected,” Dr. Zargarian said. “He had very high ethical standards, was always very professional, and an excellent surgeon. He was never arrogant. He was very human and down-to-earth.”

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Dr. Zargarian said it was “never boring when you were on call late at night listening to Tony talk about politics.”

During his more than three-decade career, he “delivered thousands of babies,” Ms. Vlahoyiannis said.

“Upon his retirement in 2000, he received countless letters from his patients expressing their gratitude for his wise counsel, excellent care, and strong reassuring presence in delivering their children and in some cases two generations of their families,” wrote another daughter, Tina Courpas of Greenwich, Connecticut.

Even though he had retired, Dr. Courpas spent the next 12 years as a volunteer gynecologist at Shepherd’s Clinic on Kirk Avenue. He also traveled with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, treating hundreds of patients in Uganda, Kenya and Guatemala.

An inveterate outdoorsman, Dr. Courpas, who lived in the Hampton neighborhood for 45 years before moving to the Blakehurst Retirement community in Towson three years ago, enjoyed hunting trips to Dorchester County and taking annual fishing trips to the remote Canadian LaVerendrye Wildlife Reserve.

A world traveler, he also enjoyed traveling to Greece and liked spending summers at a second home in Ocean City.

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He was a collector of Chinese snuff bottles and was a member of the International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society. In addition to being an avid reader, he liked carving and sculpting.

Dr. Courpas was a gifted conversationalist and “intellectually curious,” Ms. Courpas wrote.

“His family and friends treasured his sense of humor, keen observations, and ability to tell a story like no other,” Ms. Courpas wrote. "A true Renaissance man, he could converse knowledgeably on nearly any topic, from history to art, to politics, to medicine, to world events, to the most recent current trend with his beloved grandchildren.

He was a member of the Baltimore Food and Wine Society.

Dr. Courpas was also a member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in Baltimore and served during the 1970s on its board.

Funeral services and interment are private.

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In addition to his wife of 57 years and two daughters, he is survived by six grandchildren.


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